Between you and me: Mom, you are enough

Between you and me: Mom, you are enough

Lisa Vallejos

Dear Mom:

You are enough. I know you don’t feel like it. I know that sometimes, parenting can be brutal and all you can count is the ways in which you feel you’ve failed. You lost your temper with your child. You fed them fast food because the thought of cooking seemed about as appealing as shoving hot pokers under your skin. You came home late from a meeting and your little ones were in bed already so you missed the goodnight kisses and bedtime story.

Nobody ever warned you that parenting would be a combination of the best of times and the worst of times, to quote Dickens. Those new baby photos never tell the whole story of sleepless nights, toddlerhood, overwhelming exhaustion and the many ways you feel inadequate. They also don’t tell how your heart comes bursting out of your chest when your child succeeds. Those photos don’t quite capture the anguish you feel when your child’s feelings get hurt by a careless word. Nobody prepared you for the nights you would stay awake, just for one more peek at their precious, sleeping faces.

This world we live in sells a lie. It tells you that you can be a perfectly poised mother with your hair coiffed, nails manicured, in a spotless house with SMILING children doing homework while you provide a perfectly cooked dinner. While that is the reality for some of us, the reality for most of us is that we are busy, trying to do our best for those we love.

And I’m here to give you some good news: You are doing a great job. You are doing a FANTASTIC job, in fact. Mom, you are ENOUGH. Give yourself the same grace you offer to others and know that while your life (and home!) might be messy, you are doing a fabulous job balancing all of it. If you ever doubt it, look into those beautiful little eyes that adore you, let their sticky fingers wander all over your face and know that to them, you are perfect.

(I think they’re right).

Lisa Vallejos, MA, is a dating and relationship coach in the Bay Area. She is originally from Colorado, where she is a licensed professional counselor. Lisa can be reached at or at